Beyond Church Services

21 05 2008

The following article is from, March 30, 2007:

Dallas Willard, author of books about Christian spiritual formation, writes, “We must flatly say that one of the greatest contemporary barriers to meaningful spiritual formation in Christlikeness is overconfidence in the spiritual efficacy of ‘regular church services,’ of whatever kind they may be. Though they are vital, they are not enough. It is that simple.” This drives pastors crazy because we know it’s true.

Regular church services are most of what some churches do. Close to half of my week as a pastor is spent preparing for services. Most congregations structure their buildings around space for services. When we say that we’re going to church, we’re really talking about attending a service. If we cut back what we do as a church, the last thing we’d ever cut is our regular church service.

For a long time, many of us thought that the world needed better church services. We produced services with better music, drama, and practical sermons. We built our entire evangelistic strategies around getting people to come to our church services. It hasn’t worked.

We have tried to build better services, but they still haven’t come. In 1946, 67 per cent of Canadians regularly attended a place of worship. Today, that number is 20 per cent.

We are even losing evangelicals. In a 2003 survey, 59 per cent of evangelical Christians agreed with the statement, “I don’t think you need to go to church to be a good Christian.” A British Columbia former pastor defended himself on this blog against charges that he hates church. “I don’t hate the church,” he wrote. “I happen to think it has some inherent problems and is somewhat sociologically irrelevant. The music is horrible and the ministers speak too long, but I love the church. I do not know if I will ever attend church on a Sunday morning on a regular basis again.”

It’s not that church services are unimportant. They are, as Willard says, vital. The problem is that we may rely too much on one main service a week, and not on other practices that are at the heart of what it means to be the church. In the process, we are not attracting unbelievers, and are not having the impact that we could even among those who attend services.

I’m still thrilled when unbelievers attend church, but I’ve stopped making it my goal. “The Come-To-Us stance taken by the attractional church is unbiblical,” write Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch in The Shaping of Things to Come. “It’s not found in the Gospels or the Epistles. Jesus, Paul, the disciples, the early church leaders all had a Go-To-Them mentality.” The church, they argue, should be missional, engaging the community outside the walls of our church building, including those who are never going to join the church.

Some question if we really have to choose between being missional and attractional. There’s surely nothing wrong with being attractive to unbelievers. I’ve come to realize, though, that most people are not staying away from church because of the seating, parking, preaching, or music. We’re not even on their radar. Perhaps our efforts will be better spent on equipping ourselves to be salt and light, living the gospel in our schools, homes, and workplaces, rather than hoping people will come to us.

The attractiveness of Christianity is ultimately not found in a church service. It’s found in a group of people who are living the gospel. Churches can be more than a service. They can be alternate communities that exemplify the Kingdom of God and its values.

Part of the appeal of the early church must have been the way that slaves and masters, Jews and Gentiles, and men and women overcame social differences and worshiped together. One could only explain this kind of countercultural community of love and forgiveness by the gospel. You can explain good music and preaching lots of other ways, but there’s no way to explain people who are living the gospel apart from the gospel.

Many churches are exploring how to move beyond a once-a-week event, and instead live as an alternate community shaped by the gospel. Thank God for that.




18 responses

21 05 2008

Okay I give up. What does liminality mean? Is it a beverage of some kind?

21 05 2008

I’d like to begin with an easy one. If we are called to “do church” beyond our property lines, why are we wanting to build a bigger church?

21 05 2008

Thanks for your question – I assumed someone would ask – liminality is certainly not a commonly used term. A short answer would be a period of transition where we are betwixt and between (did you see the move The Terminal?). I also just posted a longer answer/discussion on the topic.

22 05 2008


I and many others would argue that while some of our personal desires may be to move and get bigger, the situations and stumbling blocks along the way so far have been hints from God to slow down or stop that pursuit.

When the project first was presented the question was asked “Would you support a relocation if the spiritual health of the church would support it?” (or words to that effect). My opinion is that from the top down at Wildwood, we are not spiritually mature enough to handle a move. (That statement is not meant to impugn Pastor Bob, but the body of officers as a whole, Deacons included.)

How can we get the body of officers on the same collective page? I think that is our principle challenge.



23 05 2008

“The attractiveness of Christianity is ultimately not found in a church service. It’s found in a group of people who are living the gospel. Churches can be more than a service. They can be alternate communities that exemplify the Kingdom of God and its values.”

I think this is what Pastor Bob is trying to guide us toward. If we as church officers really believe that the above statement is true, then we are compelled think with fresh open minds, to get off of our collective keisters and do everything we can to support that vision.

It is exciting to think that we are at that precipice. What an opportunity God is giving us to serve Him and His Church.

From my perspective the “move” has morphed from its original goal. I can remember clearly that when we first discussed acquiring the property we all agreed that any decision to move to the property should be based on the needs and health of our ministry. It seems to me that as soon as Four Oaks entered the picture with an offer to buy our current facilities, that we became development driven instead of ministry driven and I don’t think that has changed.

So it seems that we are at a point where we can “pause” in the move. I think we should do so. That we should evaluate our ministries based upon the vision expressed by the quoted statement above and Pastor Bob and seek the guidance of our Lord. As Brian Wolfe said in his comment, He may have been talking to us all along, and we have not heard what He is saying.

God is giving each of us the opportunity to lead this portion of His Church. My constant prayer for myself and for all the others is that we will do so in a manner and direction that is honoring to Him.

24 05 2008

Thoughts on “Beyond Church Services”

I agree that we should be getting new members because of what we do “beyond church services”; but the last time we did a survey people were joining because of Pastor Bob’s teaching (in a church service) and our worship.

Just think what would happen if we actually took action and engaged our community in a “beyond church service” approach.

What do some of you think about why we’ve got new members joining? Why are we getting new members? Why are we losing members?

27 05 2008

I agree that we are likely gaining members because of the strength of the preaching on Sundays but I would also contend that we may be losing members as a result of other components of our Sunday morning experience (And I don’t mean donuts) that might not be as strong.

I doubt we are losing people because we don’t have a baseball field or a gym.

I know Pastor Barksdale’s new role puts him in a position of some authority over our “programs” which I think is a good thing and the successful growth of that area may stem the tide of some of our departing members. Also, I hope to see that his renewed focus on this area will lead to a stronger pool of volunteers and teachers. (another area we are a little underwhelmed and undermanned.)

28 05 2008

People come to church as a result of relationships.They stay when they feel that they are loved and cared for.
Although church programs can and do facilitate relationship building I do not believe that programs is what maintains community. Maintaining community is a matter of the heart which comes from the fruits of the Spirit Love ,Peace,Patience,Kindness,Joy and Self Control.
Buildings and programs are nets to a point but we should focus on being better fishers of men. Our boats and nets are adequate for now.
Rob Stuyverson

28 05 2008

To continue the analogy, should we/are we turning inward to examine the quality of the fishermen? (For those of you in Rio Linda, I’m referring to us – the officers.)

28 05 2008

Now we’re talking! Rob is right on with pointing out it’s about relationships. Brian posits that we(the officers) should turn inward to examine the quality of our fishing skills. From where I sit that’s where we’re heading with the idea of shepherding elders. I would bet that if there is any concern about moving to a shepherding model, that it based upon our own fear of not being able to shepherd/fish properly. And as long as we rely on our own skills and strengths that is a valid concern. Only when we realize that on our own none of us can do it properly and place our complete trust in His leading will be begin to move in the right direction. I thing we are receiving His leading thru the shepherding plan put forth by Pastor Bob. Will we submit ourselves to be led or will we each let our own ego(an idol) guide us? We’ll see.

29 05 2008

Beyond Church Services
As I get into my new role I have been meeting with various pockets of people around the church. One of the comments that keeps resurfacing is the need to connect to one another within the church AND connecting with those in our community. The question is what vehicles can be created that allow for this connection to take place, so that relationships can be formed, so that people will be lead to Christ. In looking around, I came across Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in NYC where Tim Keller is the Senior Pastor. Their summer mini-courses are very interesting in that they are real examples of Bridge Building into the community – not that we can do the exact thing nor would we want too – but the ideas help prime the pump in our thinking our how to build relationships within the church and into our community. Here is the list:
Saturday June 7, 10 AM – 5 PM I $50 I Limited to 15

This course will give the average fan a better understanding of the economics of baseball, especially on a local level. We will talk about player value, team revenues, and the financing of the new Yankee stadium. The course includes a 45 min talk, 30 min tour of the new Yankee Stadium, and a Yankees game.

Tim Hanold is a sports fanatic who is finishing up a masters of science in sports management at Columbia this spring. When not teaching mini courses, Tim spends his time at major sporting venues painted from head to toe in his home team’s colors.
Saturday June 7, 11 – 1 PM I Chelsea Art Galleries I $20 I Limited to 15

To find great art, you have to know where to look. Join an art critic and tour guide who will take you to visit between eight to ten Art galleries and view the most talked about contemporary art of the moment.

Merrily Kerr is an art critic, writer and licensed art tour guide living in New York City. She writes regularly for Time Out New York, Flash Art, and Art on Paper, and is the founder of New York Art Tours.
Saturday June 7th, 1 – 3 PM I Register for Location I $25 I Limited to 60

Who is this C.S. Lewis, and why is Tim Keller always quoting him? If you’re a “Lewis Newbie” and you want to learn more about his writings, themes, and life, this class is for you! If you’re Lewis Groupie, and you know enough to call him Jack, we ask that you steer clear to make room for the novices. Fee includes copy of C.S. Lewis for Dummies.

Kathy Keller has been a student of all things Lewis since the 2nd grade when she read The Chronicles of Narnia. She is featured in Lewis’ book Letters to Children and corresponded with him until his death.
Saturday June 14th, 12 – 2 PM I Register for Location I $15 I Limited to 12

Can’t afford that trip to Barbados? Take a mini vacation to Queens! After a walk around the Elmhurst/Jackson Heights area, you’ll gather with others for a sharing and tasting experience. Sample from a choice of Indian, Colombian, Mexican, Filipino, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Burmese food!

Alicia Lieu is a food lover who has lived in the most diverse zip code in America for the past year and a half. This Californian loves exploring the city, working out, rainy days and making music.
Thursdays June 12th and 26th, 6 – 8 PM I Register for Location I $50 I Limited to 20

Ladies, want to learn how to make the perfect Cosmopolitan? Gentlemen, want to drink a masculine cocktail for the first time ever? Learn this and more! You will get an overview of bar tools, proper bar etiquette and have the chance to taste four drinks as well as passed hors d’oeuvres. This course will redefine what it means “to grab a drink.” Due to insurance (and tight quarters), only a chosen few will be asked to mix drinks.

One word describes David Plant: suave. Before entering seminary, David Plant was considered one of the best bartenders in Manhattan. Once the head bartender at the legendary cocktail lounge Pravda, he has also consulted with some of the top liquor companies.
Wednesday June 18th, 6:30 – 9:30 PM I Register for Location I $10 I Limited to 120

Why do so many of the most moving stories have affinities with the gospel? “On Fairy Stories” is a classic essay by J.R.R. Tolkien about the power of narrative in general and ancient myths and fairy-tales in particular. Tolkien believed that this power is rooted in our being made in God’s image and in our need to create. Registrants will receive a copy of “On Fairy Stories,” which should be read prior to the class.

When Tim Keller founded Redeemer, he was already a devotee of Tolkien. After another 20 years of study, he has read every scrap and fragment of Tolkien-lore, investigated his source materials, and has found nothing more profound than the essay “On Fairy Stories.”
June 21st 10am-12pm I Brooklyn Botanic Gardens I $5 I Limited to 20

If you’re a New Yorker, then it has probably been awhile since you’ve stopped and smelled the roses. However, with a one-acre rose garden, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is a great place to do just that. Come and check out the beauty of God’s creation.

Taught by Marilyn Smith, who is the Director of Children’s Education at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and has worked as an environmental educator for nearly 20 years.
Sat June 21st, Mon July 21st and Sat August 23rd, 6:30-8:30 PM I Register for Location I $20 I Limited to 5

Join us for hands-on, organic, whole foods cooking classes. You will learn about whole food ingredients like quinoa, tempeh, and millet and discover healthy, nutritious flavors that excite the taste buds. Learn how to make old favorites in a healthier way and get healthy tips over dinner. All classes are dairy free and vegetarian (salmon used in the second class).
Class 1 – Saturday June 21st
Thai Peanut Soup
Veggie Spring Rolls
Lime Peanut Sauce
Mooless Chocolate Mousse

Class 2 – Monday July 21st
Salmon Burgers
Spring Out Quinoa
Sunset Salad
Parsley Ginger Dressing

Class 3 – Saturday August 23rd
California Waldorf Salad
Garlic Braised Tempeh
Picnic Potato Salad
Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Melissa King is a life and wellness coach who works with individuals in the areas of health, relationships and career and helps them develop a plan to achieve new goals. She has been teaching organic cooking classes to adults and children for five years.
Sunday June 22 and Sunday June 29th, 2:30 – 4:00 I Register for Location I $10 I Limited to 30

Have you ever wanted to bust a swingin’ move on the dance floor but felt totally inept? We can fix that! Learn the basic steps for swing dancing and a few moves to help you stand out on the dance floor. No partner necessary.

The lead instructor Ben Veligdan, has seven years of swing dance experience. He was the President and lead teacher for New York University’s Swing Dance Society. He has trained at several workshops around the city.
Info Session: Thursday, June 26th 7-9 PM I Running Session: Saturday, June 28th 12 – 2 PM I Register for Location I $15

You’ve heard about that alleged “runners high.” Find out for yourself if it’s true! You’ll get a presentation from a true running professional, then apply what you learned for a three mile run in Central Park. Participants will be monitored by instructors and have a chance to ask questions during and after the run. Register for location.

Tim Hanold has curly hair and is an accomplished runner. He has recently participated in Olympic distance New York Triathlons. Blake Sedberry hails from Texas. He has been an avid runner for 15 years.
Saturday June 28, 10 – 1 PM I Redeemer Offices I $10 I Limited to 20

So you got yourself one of those big, fancy SLR digital cameras. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew how to use it? We’ll learn how to use that bad boy and how to utilize natural light sources. We’ll discuss the basics of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and simple lighting techniques from various light sources.

Deborah Shelor received a degree in Commercial Photography from Ohio University and has 4 years of experience as a professional wedding photographer. She would also really, really, really like to own a poodle.
Monday June 30th 6:30 – 8:30 PM I Redeemer Offices I $15 I Limited to 50

A production of Wagner’s monumental Ring will be returning to the Metropolitan Opera stage this fall. The course will give an overview of the meaning and cultural impact of Wagner’s tetrology, including how the work can be confronted from a Christian perspective. In addition, some interesting parallels to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings will serve as a coda to the evening. No previous knowledge of Wagner’s Ring, opera, or classical music is required.
Mark Stambaugh has taught courses in Wagner’s Ring for a number of years at The Manhattan School of Music and elsewhere, including a special class for performers and trustees of the Metropolitan Opera.
Thursday July 10, 6:30 – 8 PM I Redeemer Offices I $10

Did you know that Redeemer has planted over 160 churches in 20 countries around the world? Come learn how Redeemer is spreading the gospel throughout New York City and abroad. Learn what goes into planting a church, and how this affects you. Fee includes dinner.

Mark Reynolds is the overly zealous associate director of Redeemer’s Church Planting Center. In an informal survey, he was declared the “Sportiest Guy on Redeemer Staff.”
Friday July 11th, Sat July 12th or Fri August 15th 8pm – 10pm I Register for location I $25 I Limited to 8

This will be a course on wine tasting for all levels of enthusiasts. We’ll discuss and enjoy some affordable French and California wines (mostly red), along with a few snacks. Great for making new friends!

Taught for the second year in a row by Stephen Wright and John Ellis. Stephen recently left Sherry-Lehmann to be a buyer for a boutique wine shop in the City. John has committed much of his free time to learning all about wine, and both of them are excited to share their insights, as well as gain new perspectives from participants.
Sunday July 13, 1– 2:30 PM I Redeemer Offices I $5 I Limited to 25 women

We all tend to focus on the features we don’t have or the ones that age has taken away. This course will focus on simple tips from the beauty industry while touching upon what it means to be an image bearer of God. Those who attend will get a mini-makeover and will leave feeling encouraged and uplifted about their God-given outer beauty.

Taught by Megan Garmers, Anne Marie Crosby, and Hagen Linss, all professional make-up artists and Redeemer attendees.
Tuesday July 15th, 7-9 PM I Redeemer Offices I $10

This class will review a brief history of North Korea, its current on-the-ground humanitarian needs and the work of World Vision and other US-based Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) there. Fee includes dinner.

Yeri Kim is the program coordinator for World Vision’s programs in North Korea, and has traveled to the country six times. She also helped coordinate the New York Philharmonic’s historic performance in North Korea in February 2008.
Wednesday July 16th, 7pm – 8:30pm I Redeemer Offices I $10 I Limited to 75
This course will evaluate the global market forces driving this industry, detail sex trafficking in NYC, and provide an opportunity for people to learn about local efforts (i.e. Restore) to serve survivors of this violent crime. Fee includes dinner.

Taught by Faith Huckel, who is the co-founder of Restore NYC, a ministry that serves trafficked and prostituted women freed from the sex trade. Faith has been acting as Executive Director of Restore since May 2007.
Saturday July 19th, 10 AM – 12 PM I Redeemer Offices I $15 I Limited to 30

Learn how to appreciate good chocolate by learning where it comes from, how it’s made, and the criteria for tasting it. We’ll explore different cacao percentages (from milk to dark) and origins (from South America to Africa) to pick up on the nuances of each bar. There will be a lot of chocolate from manufacturers you may have never heard of, plus a take-home guide full of chocolate notes.

Jessica Su is a dessert enthusiast who has tasted more than 40 different chocolate bars and can distinguish all of them! She has written about food for the Associated Press,, and where she now works.
Saturday July 19th, 10 – 11:30 AM I $10 I Limited to 40

Prayer Walk with other Redeemerites in the neighborhood of our new building. We’ll learn how to pray for our building-in-process and for our new neighbors. Everyone is welcome, especially first time prayer walkers! We’ll start with a brief talk on prayer walking and then pray in and for the neighborhood for about 45 minutes. Fee includes lunch.

Lourine Clark, Lisa Lee, Brian & Christina Stanton are a prayer walking tour de force! Lourine leads the Prayer Team; Lisa hosts the Women’s Prayer and Praise nights. Brian is Redeemer’s CFO (i.e. the go to guy for our new building), and Christina is a NYC tour guide with all the inside scoop on our new hood.
Saturday July 19th, 1-5 PM I Begins at Redeemer Offices I $10 I Limited to 20

The NYC Art 101 series, hosted by Redeemer’s Arts Greenhouse, continues this summer with an overview of the history of the arts in NYC, and how NYC came to be a world leader in the arts. Sessions will begin with a lecture-style overview, and continue on the streets of NYC for a tour of sites of historical importance to the field. Sessions will be led by Redeemer artists and experts.

Visit for more info about the Greenhouse and the year-round NYC Art 101 series.
Saturday July 19th, 4 – 6 PM I Register for Location I $10 I Limited to 15

Come and make Chinese Dumplings from scratch, then get the payoff of eating them! Also sample some other traditional homemade Chinese food.

Alicia Lieu has been making dumplings with her mother, grandmother, and aunt since childhood. Her main role was the dough roller while her brother watched football and drank beer.
Wednesday July 23rd, 7-8:30 PM I Redeemer Offices I $10

World Vision’s microlending program allows families to establish and cultivate small businesses which create jobs and improve childrens’ standard of living. You’ll hear first-hand stories of the work being done. Learn about the hope brought to poverty stricken girls and women, including HIV-positive widows, orphans, and single mothers. Fee includes dinner.

As Director for Engagement at World Vision , Maryellen Robeson has witnessed the empowerment that microfinance and education bring to women. She has been speaking on behalf of World Vision for over 10 years.
Thursday July 24th, 7-9 PM I Redeemer Offices I $10

How can we be good stewards of God’s resources? If you’re clueless when it comes to stocks, bonds, and anything related to investing – this class is for you. This course will give an overview of basic investing products and resources while providing some general advice about how to get started. It will also touch on the biblical aspect of investing and how the gospel transforms our view and use of money. Fee includes dinner.

Calvin Chin, William Wu, and Jane Lin collectively have over three decades of investing experience and more than that in spiritual wisdom.
Friday July 25th, 7-9 PM I Register for Location I $40 I Limited to 30

When you think of Chinese food, do you think of fried chicken bits covered in sweet and sour sauce while a Bruce Lee movie plays in the background? We are here to bust those myths! Join us for a Chinese Banquet in Chinatown to learn about authentic Chinese food.
Please be aware that this meal is not for the culinary faint of heart! Shellfish and nuts will be served in some of the dishes. Unfortunately, no dishes can be substituted as the menu is fixed.

John “John-John” Lin is Chinese-American. He loves hip hop music, the Boston Red Sox, and his lovely wife. He also loves all things gastronomical.
Friday July 25th, 7-10 PM I Register for Location I $15 I Limited to 25

Girl talk and light fare — what could be better? Join us for an evening of fun as well as sharing the things we love as well as the things we want to love. During the evening, Carolyn Leutwiler will share highlights from her book, “Singleness Redefined,” scheduled to be released in July of 2008. A simple cooking demonstration and much more included!

Carolyn is an opera singer who has taught for SOGF at Redeemer, and has been a Bible study and discipleship group leader.
Saturday July 26th, 1- 5 PM I Redeemer Offices I $10 I Limited to 20

The NYC Art 101 series, hosted by Redeemer’s Arts Greenhouse, continues this summer with an overview of the history of the arts in NYC, and how NYC came to be a world leader in the arts. Sessions will begin with a lecture-style overview, and continue on the streets of NYC for a tour of sites of historical importance to the field. Sessions will be led by Redeemer artists and experts.

Visit for more info about the Greenhouse and the year-round NYC Art 101 series.
Saturday July 26th, 1 – 3 PM I Redeemer Offices I $15

Reading, writing, and speaking are all important communication skills that we learned in school. Listening skills, however, were never taught. Yet so much of life depends on us being able to listen well. This course will examine Jesus’ ability to listen with undivided attention to those he ministered to, teach you how empathy and love are linked to listening skills, and give you the opportunity to practice and hone your listening skills.
Andrea Mungo and Olimpio Wen are both counselors and exceptionally good listeners.
Wednesday July 30th 7-9 PM I Redeemer Offices I $15 per couple

This class is a discussion forum for young couples contemplating starting a family. We will talk about specific issues to consider: marital relationship, expectations of parenting, etc. We will also discuss the unique opportunities and challenges of having children in NYC. Fee includes dinner.

Brent Bounds is the Director of Family Ministries. He has worked with children and families for over 10 years in clinical and non-clinical settings. He and his wife Jenny have one child.
Date and time TBA I Register for location I $45 I Limited to 10

This will be a fun, hands-on cooking class where participants learn to create light, market-fresh fare with minimal preparation and maximum flavor. We will prepare four dishes together and eat the results as a sit-down dinner. Students will learn the secrets of a personal chef: where to find the best seasonal ingredients, how to prepare multiple dishes in a short time, which wines to serve, and practical menu planning tips for every occasion.

Anna Watson has worked as a personal chef, cooked in restaurants in the U.S. and France, and cooked for a chateau in Burgundy, yet somehow her favorite pastime is still throwing dinner parties.
Thursday July 31st 6-9 PM or Saturday August 23rd, 10 AM – 2 PM I Redeemer Offices I $15

You’ve got a digital camera, but want to take better pictures. Three factors apply: your equipment, your understanding of your equipment, and your creativity. The class will have 3 parts: Introductions and Presentation, Photo excursion and Q & A, Photo show and Q&A.

In high school, Nathan convinced his dad to get an SLR and made a makeshift studio. In college he studied film and video production. Now he collects photo gear, shoots at every opportunity, and works as Redeemer’s video coordinator.
Saturday August 2nd, 10 AM – 12 PM I Redeemer Offices I $5 I Limited to 10

Do you love knitting? Do you know the basics (knitting, purling, casting on and off etc.) but dream about taking your knitting to the next level? We can make that dream come true, my friend. You’ll learn the herringbone stitch, a simple lace stitch, and a technique called double knitting. You’ll need to bring your own needles and yarn to make practice swatches.

Carolyn Lee has skills – knitting skills. She is part of the Redeemer citilights ministry and organizes the knitting circles events.
Wednesday August 6th, 7:30 – 9:00 PM I Redeemer Offices I $10 I Limited to 75

As rents continue to rise in NYC, more families must choose between paying rent and paying for food and health care. What is the Christian response to our neighbors in need? Join us as we discuss the housing crisis facing our city, what advocates are doing, and how you can get involved. Fee includes dinner.

Sandhya Reju is Executive Director of Brooklyn Jubilee, a non-profit organization that serves the needs of Brooklyn. She is also the Director of Housing Litigation, Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Legal Services and has 10 years of experience as a poverty lawyer. Fee includes dinner.
Saturday August 9th, 1-3 PM I Redeemer Offices I $15

Come join an open, candid discussion between men and women on singleness and relationships. We will wrestle together with the thorny issues of singleness and explore how they relate to gospel community. Challenge your perspective on marriage, dating, and avoiding the whole mess.

Presented by Arlene Navarro and others from Redeemer Counseling Center.
Saturday August 16th, 1 – 5 PM I Redeemer Offices I $10 I Limited to 20

The NYC Art 101 series, hosted by Redeemer’s Arts Greenhouse, continues this summer with an overview of the history of the arts in NYC, and how NYC came to be a world leader in the arts. Sessions will begin with a lecture-style overview, and continue on the streets of NYC for a tour of sites of historical importance to the field. Sessions will be led by Redeemer artists and experts.

Visit for more info about the Greenhouse and the year-round NYC Art 101 series.

FABULOUS FALL FASHION Saturday August 23, 1-3:30 PM I Register for Location I $10 I Limited to 10
Looking to update your wardrobe for the fall? Join our team of fashion experts for a two hour shopping tour of Soho. Learn about the fashion trends for the fall season, where to find them, and how to make them work with your wardrobe and your wallet.

Shanya Fernando is a Senior Marketing Manager at Anne Klein and Meredith Del Bello is a buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue.

29 05 2008

I concur with Rob on us needing to focus on being better fishers of men, and with Brian on our need to focus internally on the quality of ourselves as fisherman. To continue the analog if we aren’t fishing very often or affectively why do we even need a boat and a net; but what if?

After Pastor Barksdale pointed us to Redeemer Church in NYC it looks to me like “they get it” in terms of building bridges into the community. It looks like the way they fish they are going to reach some non-churched fish. After a look around their website it looks like they not only focus on building relationships within the “churched folks” they want to create opportunities to begin new relationships with the non-churched through some pretty creative activities. I bet we could get Tallahassee folks to bring some non-churched friends to a chocolate tasting or wine tasting event.

29 05 2008

Just be sure the chocolate tasting and wine tasting are scheduled so I can get to both!

29 05 2008

I could teach the bar tending class.

2 06 2008

Paralysis by overanalysis

I feel like we are constantly “outsmarting” ourselves. I use quotation marks because I don’t think we’ve been very smart about it. We work very hard at self reflection, introspection, and self flaggelation. I think we focus on these things at the expense of true ministry “beyond church services.” All of those things have to do with self while our calling is to serve others. Some may argue that we have to work on ourselves first before we can go fishing for others. Ok, I get it, work on self is required and necessary. But we take it to the extreme. I feel like we could be the best equipped fisherman with the best bait, tools, and techniques…but if we never GO FISHING, we’ll never catch any FISH! We will feel good about our cool fishing hats and boats but the only time we are fisherman is when a fish jumps in the boat.

3 06 2008

Way to go Mark!!!!!!! I’m beginning to think that fish aren’t driving up and jumping into our boat on Sundays like they were doing 3 to 5 years ago. Do you think we need to be thinking about getting a smaller boat or do you think we might need to put the boat in the water and go fishing?

3 06 2008

Bingo, Mark – learn by doing, trust that God will equip us. I like it!!!

5 06 2008


Don’t look now, but we’re starting to make some sense.

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